92389

SOC 101

 Introduction to Sociology

Anna Gjika

M  W  1:30 pm-2:50 pm

RKC 103

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies  Sociology is the systematic study of social life, social groups, and social relations. The discipline views the individual in context of the larger society, and sheds light on how social structures constrain and enable our choices and actions. Sociologists study topics as varied as race, gender, class, religion, the birth of capitalism, democracy, education, crime and prisons, the environment, and inequality. At its most basic, the course will teach students how to read social science texts and evaluate their arguments. Conceptually, students will learn basic sociological themes and become familiar with how sociologists ask and answer questions. Most importantly, students will come away from the course with a new understanding of how to think sociologically about the world around them, their position in society, and how their actions both affect and are affected by the social structures in which we all live.  Class size: 22

 

92390

SOC 120

 Inequality in America

Yuval Elmelech

 T  Th 3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 202

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights  Why do some people have more wealth, more power, and receive greater respect than others? What are the sources of this inequality? Is social inequality inevitable? Is it undesirable? Through lectures, documentary films and class discussions, this course examines the ways by which socially-defined class, gender, race and ethnic categories are unevenly rewarded for their social contributions. Sociological theories are used to explain how and why social inequality is produced and maintained, and how it affects the well-being of individuals and social groups. The course will focus on two general themes. The first deals with the structure of inequality while studying the unequal distribution of material and social resources (e.g., social status, wealth, power). The second examines the processes that determine the allocation of people to positions in the stratification system (e.g. educational attainment, social capital, parental wealth, institutional discrimination).   Class size: 22

 

92747

SOC 138

 Introduction to URBAN SOCIOLOGY

Peter Klein

M  W  1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 204

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies  More than half the world’s population now lives in urban areas. Thus, the study of social and political dynamics in urban centers is crucial if we are to understand and address the pressing issues of the contemporary world. This course will allow students to explore these dynamics through an introduction to urban sociology: the study of social relations, processes, and changes in the urban context. We will begin by reading perspectives on the development of cities, followed by an examination of how the city and its socio-spatial configuration affect and are affected by social interactions, particularly across gender, race, and class lines. The course will then consider the relationship between globalization and the modern city before concluding with a few examples of how citizens address the challenges in their communities. Throughout, we will explore the diverse methods that social scientists use to understand these dynamics, and students will have the opportunity to utilize some of these methods in an investigation of a local “urban community.” This foundational course is of interest to EUS concentrators but does not fulfill EUS program and focus area requirements.  Class size: 22

 

92391

SOC 141

 Culture, Society,  & Economic Life

Laura Ford

 T  Th 1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 203

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies  This course will introduce students to sociological principles and perspectives through a focus on the economy. We will begin by asking the obvious question: why would sociologists study the economy? We will briefly explore three “classical” answers to this question, which come from foundational thinkers: Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim. Most of our time, however, will be spent with contemporary authors in the new and developing field of “economic sociology.” These authors help us to see the ways that the economy is “embedded” in society and in culture: in worldviews, in moral frameworks, and in social-relational structures. Topics covered in the course will include: (1) social patterns of consumption, (2) commodification of emotion in the service economy, (3) roles of law and social action in the branding of products and places, (4) social foundations of modern, industrial capitalism, and (5) social, moral, and legal meanings of money.  Class size: 22

 

92392

SOC 205

 Intro to Research Methods

Yuval Elmelech

 T  Th 11:50 am-1:10 pm

HDR 106

MC

MATC

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies; Human Rights The aim of this course is to enable students to understand and use the various research methods developed in the social sciences, with an emphasis on quantitative methods. The course will be concerned with the theory and rationale upon which social research is based, as well as the practical aspects of research and the problems the researcher is likely to encounter. The course is divided into two parts. In the first, we will learn how to formulate research questions and hypotheses, how to choose the appropriate research method for the problem, and how to maximize chances for valid and reliable findings. In the second part, we will learn how to perform simple data analysis and how to interpret and present findings in a written report. For a final paper, students use data from the U.S. General Social Survey (GSS) to study public attitudes toward issues such as abortion, immigration, inequality and welfare, affirmative action, gender roles, religion, the media, and gun laws.  By the end of the semester, students will have the necessary skills for designing and conducting independent research for term papers and senior projects, as well as for non-academic enterprises.  Admission by permission of the instructor.  Class size: 15

 

92447

SOC 249

 POWER, POLITICS, AND PROTEST

Peter Klein

 M  W  11:50 am – 1:10 pm

OLIN 204

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Human Rights; Political Studies  How is power produced, maintained, distributed, and transformed? How is authority supported or challenged by social structures, institutions, and collective behaviors and identities? These are the questions that frame the field of political sociology and that guide this course. We will examine theoretical conceptions of the state, the public sphere, and governance, drawing on case studies from the United States and abroad to bring these theories to life. The course will also interrogate the meanings and consequences of the nation, civil society, social movements, capitalism, and democracy and how these intersect with race, class, and gender. In order to explore the changing nature of power and politics, we will examine how individuals and groups challenge structures of power through struggles for environmental justice, urban social movements, participatory democracy, and the use of the law and legal institutions.  Class size: 22

 

92393

SOC 233

 LAYING DOWN THE LAW: Legal Systems IN ComparATIVE PerspectIVE

Laura Ford

 T  Th 4:40 pm-6:00 pm

OLIN 204

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies; Human Rights; Religion  In this course, we will compare ancient and modern legal systems from a sociological perspective.  Our focus will be on Eurasian traditions, which have been influencing one another for a very long time.  We will begin in Ancient Mesopotamia and India, and from there we will move to Israel, Athens, and Rome.  We will then travel to medieval Europe, cycling back around to the law schools of Istanbul (Constantinople) and Beirut, glancing briefly at Islamic Jurisprudence.  We will conclude with the Enlightenment, and modern legal systems.  Our comparative focus will be on the differing social types who have engaged in law-giving and law-finding activity: kings, priests, and prophets; philosophers, clerics, and scholars; rhetoricians and “professionals.”  We will seek to understand the ways that these social actors may have thought about what they were doing, and the social-historical conditions under which they engaged in their distinctive forms of activity.  The fundamental goal of this course will be to reveal the rich cultural lineages of modern legal systems, and the historical particularity of such systems.  Class size: 22

 

92765

SOC 257

 NeW MEDIA AND SOCIETY

Anna Gjika

M W   3:10 pm-4:30 pm

HDR 106

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Science, Technology & Society   New media and information technologies are so ubiquitous we rarely step back to think deeply about what exactly digital media are, and how these technologies shape our interactions and the social world. Yet our apps, likes, shares, tweets, and profiles are not without meaning or consequence. This course will draw from various disciplines, including science and technology studies (STS), sociology, and communication theory to help us investigate how digital media are made and used in real life, the ways they shape our identities and relationships, as well as how digital practices exacerbate and challenge existing social problems and inequalities. We will begin with an overview of the history, infrastructure and theoretical foundations necessary to help us understand and critically interrogate new media technologies. Drawing on these resources, we will then examine the implications of new technologies for identity, labor, privacy and surveillance, as well as contemporary issues in digital studies, including (mis)information, political debate, digital abuse, and digital resistance and activism. There are no prerequisites for this course.  Class size: 22

 

92394

SOC 341

 BIG CHANGES, GRAND NARRATIVES: Macro-Historical Sociology

Laura Ford

M        4:40 pm-7:00 pm

OLIN 309

SA

SSCI

Classical sociological thinkers were unapologetic about thinking big.  They sought to uncover the architectonic social forces of historical and cultural change, and to peer into the future toward which such forces might be leading.  Has a new type of capitalism taken over the world?   Have social ties like friendship and marriage been changed out of all recognition by new social conditions?  Does religion still matter in modern societies, and, if so, how?  In this course, we will survey the "grand narrative tradition" of sociology. One goal will be to help students reflectively develop research projects that involve historical and comparative research, and/or historical themes.  We will also consider the strengths and weaknesses of macro-historical sociology.  Class size: 15